Willie Cole: On Site, an exhibition at the David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland will be on view through November 18, 2016.
The exhibition features nineteen three-dimensional artworks, which Cole created from 2006 through 2016, and focuses on three main materials: found wood, used shoes, and recycled water bottles. Two of those materials, shoes and water bottles, represent objects that we use and discard. They contain residue from the individuals who have used those objects; the shoe keeps the shape, sweat, and smell of the person who wore it, while the bottles contain the individual’s DNA (breath, spit, and soul). A site-specific installation of a 20’ diameter ‘chandelier’ made of close to 5,000 recycled water bottles will be centered in the Driskell Center’s gallery, including a video documenting the creation of the ‘chandelier’. On his website, the artist states, “The idea of chandeliers made from recycled water bottles first came to me in a dream about 3 years ago. In that dream I saw one suspended in a void, with an image of Buddha inside each bottle. It was, I believed at that time, a message about purity, love, and unity. But upon waking I realized that it was also about the environment. Each day 20 billion bottles are added to landfills across the globe…”
Organized by the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora, Willie Cole: On Site will begin its national tour in 2017; from April 7th through July 2nd, 2017, the exhibition will be featured at the Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and beginning in October 2017, it will be on display at the University of New Hampshire’s Museum of Art, Durham. It will continue its tour to other locations soon after.
To see read more about the exhibition and see installation photos, please click here.